Benjamin Franklin and Arthur Lee to Vergennes
Passy, April 10. 1778
We1 have the Honour to acquaint your Excellency, that Mr. Adams, appointed by the Congress to replace Mr. Deane in the Commission here, is safely arrived, and purposes to wait upon you as soon as recovered a little from the Fatigue of his Voyage.2
The Ship in which he came is a Frigate of 30 Guns, belonging to the Congress. In her Passage she took a large Ship from London to New York, with a Cargo valued at 70,000 £ Sterling.
The3 Congress had resolved to detain General Bourgoyne and his Army for Breach of Capitulation; and have now in all above 10,000 Prisoners of the Enemy in their Hands.4 The Remainder of the British Troops continue closely pent up in New York and Philadelphia, and in a suffering Condition for Provisions.
Mr. Adams brings, among others, the enclos’d Resolutions of Congress, which it may be agreable to your Excellency to see.5 They will probably discourage the English Ministry in their Projects of tempting the Commissioners here, or the Congress there, to enter into Treaties, wherein every thing was propos’d to be granted us, except Independence. They have met with no Encouragement here, and it is from these Resolves certain they will meet with none there, especially after the Treaties come to be known, which Mr. Adams is confident will be ratified immediately.
We have the Honour to be, with the greatest Respect, Your Excellency’s most obedient and most humble Servants
RC (Arch. Aff. Etr., Paris, Corr. Pol., E.-U., vol. 3).
1. In the left margin opposite this point is the notation “M. francklin annonce l’arrivee” de M. Adams successeur de M. Deane et la prise d’un riche vaisseau anglois.”
2. JA commented at length on his first meeting with Vergennes, which took place on 11 April. The visit was perhaps hastened when JA learned, at dinner on 10 April, that Vergennes was surprised that JA had not called on him immediately upon his arrival at Paris (Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 2:298–299; 4:47–48).
3. In the left margin opposite this point is the notation “resolution du Congrès du retenir prisonniers le Gl. Burgoyne et son armèe.”